Today Bell & Howell's (NYSE: BHW) Information and Learning division announced its intention to extend the current linking capabilities in ProQuest, the company's award-winning online information system, to support the open linking environment of the SFX Framework. SFX will be enabled in the release of ProQuest 4.1, which is scheduled for December 2000.
SFX permits context-sensitive linking among all parts of an electronic collection, including full-text repositories; abstracting, indexing and citation database; on-line catalogues; citations appearing in research articles, e-print systems and other Web resources. SFX provides users with seamless integration of heterogeneous resources, and places the management of this in the hands of the librarian. The librarian defines the conceptual relationships between different information resources to allow the user to fully exploit the institution's collection and to link to appropriate services.
Two-way linking will be enabled between ProQuest and the SFX linking server from Ex Libris, whereby ProQuest customers who also license the SFX server can link directly from ProQuest search results via SFX to an extended range of resources and services; and, users of ProQuest and other information sources can link through the SFX server to full text in ProQuest databases, such as ABI/INFORM. Users will be able to use the powerful indexing of ABI/INFORM, which has full text for about 70% of the articles, and link out to the full text of articles when the library has full-text access via an e-journal, publisher site, or other electronic resource.
Todd Fegan, Vice President, ProQuest Product Management, said, "This integration extends the ProQuest IntelliDocsTM linking capabilities introduced earlier this year. With SFX, access to the key data in ProQuest, particularly the significant number of full-text articles, will now be possible from multiple resources. Users will choose their preferred route to these resources." ProQuest provides access to more than 6,000 periodicals and newspapers, many in full text.
Jenny Walker of the Ex Libris Information Services Division added, "Bell & Howell has been quick to realize the benefits of SFX for their library users. SFX empowers the librarian to determine not only the scope of the information space relevant for their users, but also how the component heterogeneous information resources are interlinked in a meaningful manner. With the SFX-enabling of ProQuest, the scope of resources through which the SFX user can navigate is now substantially increased."
About Bell & Howell Information and Learning
Bell & Howell Company (NYSE: BHW), headquartered in Skokie, Ill., is a leading information solutions and services provider to industries worldwide. In each of its businesses, the company transforms information through software and services, helping its customers operate more effectively and efficiently. Additional information on Bell & Howell Company can be found at: www.bellhowell.com.
Bell & Howell Information and Learning (formerly UMI) is a world leader in collecting, organizing, and distributing information worldwide to researchers, faculty, and students in libraries and schools. Known widely for its strength in business, general-reference, humanities, and social sciences content, the company develops premium databases comprising periodicals, newspapers, dissertations, out-of-print books, and other scholarly information from more than 8,500 publishers worldwide. Users access the information through ProQuest, the company's Web-based online information system, Chadwyck-Healey electronic and microform resources, and UMI microform and print reference products. In addition, the company develops educational products that support learning in the classroom. In every product line, the company seeks to bring valuable information directly to researchers and learners. For more information about Bell & Howell Information and Learning, call 800-521-0600 (U.S. and Canada) or 734-761-4700, or visit: www.infolearning.com.
About Ex Libris
Ex Libris is a leading worldwide developer of high-performance applications for libraries and information centers. ALEPH, the Ex Libris integrated library solution is now in over 530 installations in 41 countries. The newly formed Information Services Division will address the broader aspects of collection management with its initial focus being the further development and deployment of the SFX context-sensitive reference linking solution acquired in February by Ex Libris from Ghent University in Belgium. Ex Libris is a multi-national company with offices located around the world. For more information on SFX and for the OpenURL specification, link to: www.sfxit.com.